Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

National
States Squeezed by Fiscal, Political Pressures on Funding
No matter how much they need, schools can only spend what they have—and that finite pot of money depends on broader economic and political factors largely beyond their control. So when it comes to spreading nearly $648.6 billion in state, local, and federal education aid across the national landscape, there are bound to be big holes in the funding bucket, even in a generally resurgent economy. (Education Week)

Will Ride-Sharing Replace Traditional School Buses?
Michael Louie had a problem: His older son attended junior high in one San Francisco suburb until 2:50 p.m., the younger needed to be picked up from elementary school in a different neighborhood just 25 minutes later, and both had to arrive at their after-school program on the other side of town by 3:30 – but neither Louie nor his wife could leave work mid-afternoon. On a hunch, he searched the internet for “Uber for kids” and found Kango, a startup that’s essentially just that. “It was initially a scary idea to trust my kids with a complete stranger who would pick them up from school and drive them around,” Louie says, but the company has solved his family’s riddle for more than two years. (U.S. News & World Report)

DeVos Says There’s One Thing Her School-Safety Commission Won’t Be Studying: Guns
What should be on the list of tasks for President Trump’s newly minted school-safety commission, charged with studying what can be done to prevent campus violence? Perhaps the commission, chaired by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, should look at mental-health resources and student-discipline practices. And perhaps it should consider the design of campus facilities. One thing that would seemingly be an obvious candidate for the commission’s scrutiny is guns, as guns have been the weapon of choice in every major school-violence incident this year. (The Atlantic)

States
New Mexico
Aragon: New Mexico Is First State to Approve School Turnaround Plans Under the Every Student Succeeds Act. But Will Adult Politics Now Keep the Kids Waiting?
Is New Mexico bold enough to show the country what’s possible for public education in the age of ESSA? We’re about to find out — and for the sake of the kids who need us the most, I hope we’re bolder than ever. Recently, officials from Albuquerque Public Schools signed off on the nation’s first school turnaround plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act. With funding and support from the New Mexico Public Education Department, the district faces a serious task: transforming education for nearly 700 students at Los Padillas and Whittier elementary schools. They have been failing for five and six years, respectively, on state accountability report cards. (The 74)

North Carolina
Segregation in 2018? Resistance builds as NC town charter school bill labeled racist
Calling a controversial charter school bill the latest battleground in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s long war against school segregation, four African-American former school board chairs Tuesday urged North Carolinians to “stand up and fight institutional racism.” House Bill 514, introduced by Rep. Bill Brawley, would allow four majority-white suburban towns outside Charlotte to create their own charter schools, giving preference to town residents for seats. That bill cleared the Senate on Monday and has gone back to the House, which approved it last year, for a vote on changes made in the Senate. (The Charlotte Observer)

Tennessee
Shelby County Commissioner Asks Is It Time For Year-Round Schools
Memphis is the poorest big city in America. That’s a fact nobody brags about. It might not be visible to you or in your neighborhood or in your social circle, but it’s there. It’s there big time, and people at the Shelby County Schools know it. There is no reason for what I’m about to tell you to happen in this country. But it does right here in Memphis. Shelby County Commissioner George Chism says he was appalled at what he read. “So we got 40,000 kids,” he says, “that go home to a household of less than $10,000. 40,000 kids. Half of them, or over half of them have had adverse childhood experiences. (LocalMemphis.com)

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.

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